Saturday Soapbox – Why I Read – Part 1

 

Saturday Soapbox

Welcome to my new discussion feature. On Saturdays I will be posting my weekly discussion topic and a linky for you to post your weekly discussions as well. I hope you enjoy the discussions and come back every week.

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Reading has been a consent in my life. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have a book nearby. I was a very socially awkward child. I spent my first six years in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio on a tree lined street that came with half a dozen built in friends. There were four girls all around the same age, plus siblings and a little boy that I watched every He-Man episode with. I never worried if they liked me or if I would have someone to play with. Then, right before 1st grade we moved 2,000 miles to Tucson, Arizona. Our new street had no kids around our age to make instant friends with, and I was not sure how to go about talking to these new people. I have been told I was a bossy child (I say high spirited) so when others would not do as I wanted, I would go off and pout. This led to teasing and bullying from the other kids, so reading became my solace. I didn’t have to get along with others; didn’t have to try with books. I carried one with me everywhere, and read all the time. I sat on the “timeout” bench at recess to read, hid a book in my band sheet music, hid a book in my school textbooks, and hid a book under my pillow for bedtime.

One of my mom’s favorite stories to tell about my reading is from when I was in 3rd grade. My teacher was not a fan of mine, and when my mom went to my parent teacher conference, the teacher showed her the class reading sticker chart. My book finished stickers were almost double the other kids. My mom told the teacher that the number of stickers was wrong, to which the teacher replied, “I knew it. That’s why I stopped giving her prizes for reading, she is claiming way too many books.” My mom replied calmly, “See, she and her sister go to the library every week and each get ten books, plus one each at the church library and the school library. So that is 24 books a week. Laura reads them all, so she should have at least double that number on the chart. She has been short changing herself.”

Reading filled a vital gap in my childhood. I did eventually learn to make friends, but books were still my best friends. I liked nothing more than to ride my bike to the library and fill my bag with new books, then retreat to my room to sink into a new world. I understood books, and through them I could live a different life. When I look back at the hard times growing up, when I got made fun of for my home sewn clothes, the hair my mom cut, and the times I ate lunch in the school bathroom, books were there.

I am a reader because it filled such a big place in my childhood. I will always be a reader because it brings me such joy. I can’t picture me ever giving up reading.

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So tell me, what kindled your love of reading?

Link your weekly discussion posts!

Posted March 19, 2016 by Laura in Saturday Soapbox / 4 Comments


4 responses to “Saturday Soapbox – Why I Read – Part 1

  1. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your personal story here. I can’t say how I became such a voracious reader in a family where no one else was doing the same, at least not during my childhood, so I wasn’t copying anyone’s example. I believe it was that reading was something I could do well in school. I struggled with math, but I excelled at anything related to spelling, reading, grammar, etc.

    So when I got my first library card and was told I could check out X amount of books, I tried to do that and was scolded by the librarian for taking out more than I could read at a time. So I believe (and this is a long time ago so I’m not exactly sure) I took out about 7 chapter books, read them in one week, and returned them and told the librarian, yes I could read a lot of books at a time. I went on to visit the local library only 3 blocks from my home all the time, always lugging an armful home and always reading all my titles. Thus started my love of reading and my love of libraries!
    Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…This n That- in place of Weekly Wrap-Up this weekMy Profile

    • My parents have always been readers, so I always saw people with books around. My oldest brother was actually in a library commercial as they saw him there so much.

      My sister and I had to get 10 books each, no more, no less each week. This was the only way my parents could keep track of the returns as there was nothing extra in the budget for late fees. 🙂

      I was always told that the books I got were too advanced, until I explained that Animal Farm was really about the Russian revolution. I was in 5th grade, so they were a little suprised. After that they let me read pretty much anything I wanted. Which is how I became the nerdy girl reading Othello at recess.

      Books are so comforting to me, so it’s great to see that others feel the same way. Thanks for sharing Rita.
      Laura recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up – March 19, 2016My Profile

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